Biological Trace Element Research

, Volume 33, Issue 1–3, pp 187–196 | Cite as

Selenium deficiency in yugoslavia

  • Zoran J. Maksimović
  • Ivana Djujić
  • Vidojko Jović
  • Mihailo Ršumović


Data on selenium (Se) deficiency in Yugoslavia are presented. The results include Se content of soil, cereal crops, and garlic grown in these soils, and human serum and scalp hair from several towns and regions. All data indicate a serious Se deficiency: soil (n=140), the mean value of 200±69.6 μg/kg Se; wheat, (58)\(\bar x\) = 20.5 ± 12.4 μg/kg; corn, (79)\(\bar x\) = 13.7 ± 13.6 μg/kg; and garlic, (66)\(\bar x\) = 13.7 ± 17.1 μg/kg Se. Analyses of human tissue show a very low Se status of the Yugoslav population: serum, (n=875)\(\bar x\) = 50.0 ± 18.0 μg/L and scalp hair, (388)\(\bar x\) = 94 ± 16 μg/kg Se. In some regions, Se contents of grain, garlic, and human serum and hair are approaching those in the low-Se belt in China. It is assumed that very low Se status of a human population could be a risk factor in the development of Balkan Endemic Nephropathy (BEN) and in a high incidence of urinary tract tumors (UTT) in endemic areas.

Index Entries

Selenium deficiency soil grain garlic human serum scalp hair Yugoslavia 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zoran J. Maksimović
    • 1
  • Ivana Djujić
    • 2
  • Vidojko Jović
    • 1
  • Mihailo Ršumović
    • 3
  1. 1.Geochemical LaboratoryFaculty of Mining and GeologyBelgradeYugoslavia
  2. 2.Institute for ChemistryTechnology, and MetallurgyBelgrade
  3. 3.The Highway InstituteBelgrade

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